Courtenay museum gets new look

A whole new look is being given to Courtenay and District Museum and Paleontology Centre in an initiative to attract more visitors.

A whole new look is being given to Courtenay and District Museum and Paleontology Centre in an initiative to attract more visitors.

The rebranding is covering all aspects of its work — from the signs on the outside of the building through the look and extent of the displays inside; and from a new website and Facebook presence to a range of brochures, short films and advertisements.

A new museum logo features two images of its best-known exhibit — the elasmosaur, discovered on the banks of the Puntledge River in 1988. One is of it in skeletal form, the other as the silhouette of it swimming through a primeval sea.

The logo has been designed by Primal Communications and will often be used alongside a new slogan — Discoveries happen here.

“That’s because they really do — discoveries are happening here all the time,” says Pat Trask, the museum’s paleontology specialist. “The Comox Valley and central Vancouver Island are internationally recognized by scientists as being a hotbed for marine dinosaur discoveries,” he added.  “Our collection here in Courtenay already numbers more than 6,000 items.”

The new look will include fresh presentations of all the museum’s displays — not just the fossil collections, but also social history topics.

Courtenay-based Neil Havers Design is working with museum staff to create new information panels and other graphics on both floors of the museum to give a cohesive look to all the displays. Comox-based Wallace i Media is updating the website, Facebook and YouTube sites.

Six new videos have also been commissioned, the first two of which have just been posted online at, as well as on YouTube at Courtenaymuseum and on Facebook at courtenay-district-museum. Shawn Pigott and Kim Bannerman, co-owners of Cumberland media company, Fox & Bee, are creating the videos.

Museum executive director Deborah Griffiths says the comprehensive new look is part of the Destination Courtenay Museum project to present and promote the museum and its programs to an even wider audience.

“Our renowned fossil collection is what brings people in, and we will be presenting that in an even more interesting and informative way,” she said. “But the consistency of the design will extend to all our exhibits — from the ancient to the present — both onsite and online.”

The work is being partially grant-aided by Community Futures Strathcona and the Rural Economic Development Initiative of B.C., which see the initiatives as boosting business, tourism and jobs in the area as well as highlighting a treasure trove of exhibits to a wider audience.

— Courtenay and District Museum

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